Gardeners everywhere are planting bulbs in anticipation of springtime blooms. I love those first flowers of spring. They conquer bleak winter days bursting forth in bright yellow, red and violet. My only complaint with my family’s move to temperate Texas is the difficulty growing my favorite daffodils, tulips and crocus. I learned bulbs purchased through my routine suppliers simply did not grow here. Unlike the north, winter freezes seldom occur in Dallas. While I don’t miss the chilly winters, the average tulip and daffodil needs that cold for their fabulous springtime growth.
Thankfully there are online suppliers that specialize in southern heirloom bulbs adapted to my warm climate. Southern Bulbs is one such company. Founded by Chris Wiesinger in 2004, Southern Bulb supplies bulbs adapted to Texas. These bulbs are resilient to both heat and humidity. Wiesinger, known as the Bulb Hunter, searches and rescues plants from forget spots throughout the South. His Bulb Hunter blog is an ongoing litany of his adventures and finds. My favorite from his heirloom collection are Jonquils – Narcissus x Jonquilla. These perky blooms are like miniature sunny faces in springtime. They also readily multiply – allowing me to expand my garden display without spending a fortune.
Dixie Bulb and Gardens is another online heirloom bulb supplier based in Bernice, Louisiana. Dixie Bulb and Gardens, like the Bulb Hunter, seeks out heirloom bulbs growing in dissolute places. This year, Dixie Gardens offers something truly unique – rescue daffodils. These are heirloom bulbs that will be destroyed by local land development. I’m looking forward to placing my rescue daffodil order.
Southern Bulb and Dixie Bulb and Garden heirlooms are more expensive than buying from your local outdoor center. Sure, you can put those tulip bulbs from Lowes in your vegetable crisper for six to eight weeks and they will bloom in spring. But there is something just a little bit exciting knowing your springtime flowers may have descended from bulbs planted by long dead pioneers – if flowers could only talk.
To order heirloom bulbs, contact Southern Bulb through their website, and Dixie Bulb and Gardens at their website or by calling (318) 368-2006.